The new BG-E2N grip vs the old BG-E2 grip

I have picked up my new BG-E2N grip for my Canon EOS40D today. I have made some shots and comparison with the old BG-E2 grip.

First, some pics of the new grip.

The external appearance of the new BG-E2N grip is virtually identical to the old BG-E2 grip

The main difference between the 2 grip is that, the old BG-E2 grip has no rubber seal for the battery compartment

Whereas in the new BG-E2N grip, you can clearly see the rubber seal

You can see the Canon EOS 40D full review article here.


73 thoughts on “The new BG-E2N grip vs the old BG-E2 grip

  1. Whilst I’ve never doubted the functionality of Canon’s vertical grips they always look as if they missed the design phase altogether resulting in them looking clunky and misfitting. Unlike Nikon’s new D300 grip which when attached is almost indistinguishable from the camera body.

    A minor gripe I know but I wish that Canon would make an effort to make the integration of camera and grip more seamless.

    Thanks for the good articles….John.

  2. The only Eos DSLR vertical grip that was a joy to use was the 10D one, which fitted the camera body like a glove and didn’t leave a protuding nobble on one end, which has been the case with just about every grip since. It’s as if Canon doesn’t want us to have a nice ergonomically pleasing camera a-la 1D series.. purposefully making them clunky so we’ll want to upgrade to the $4500 and $8000 cameras?!? What are they thinking?
    Good Design shouldn’t just be the exclusive domain of the über cameras from Canon. Look at the D300.. it’s built and designed as good as it comes.
    And beyond just taking the foot away (which would add more autonomy by having 3 batteries at the camera’s disposal) what about placing the vertical grim shutter button at the same height as the camera body one, much like Minolta does/did with their vertical grips.. There is LOADS of improvement for such an essential piece of photographic equipment.. Shame on you Canon for really dropping the ball in this 20 year anniversary of Eos.. It’s more like a 20 year anniversary of NIKON!

  3. BG-E2N … (N) for Not Neccessarily a New or Nice or Needed accessory (just kidding). I still have my 20D which recently came back from a shutter assembly replacement (having clocked under 90,000 actuations) and re-calibrated. My main body is the very nice 5D and I’ve just returned from an event in Hanoi with about 2500 images to post process.

    After owning the 20D and BG-E2 for years I had wished to see a more sculptured 40D and BG-E2N combo. With such significant changes to the 40D, it’s the perfect opportunity/excuse for Canon to roll out a completely new design combo but no!

    After the episodes I had with my unit, part of me remains skeptical about whether the -N is reliable. My 5D and BG-E4 combo has been great so far but it (5D) too suffers aesthetically!

    Previous issues I had with 20D and BG-E2

    Thanks Roland for a wonderful review. I’m happy you’ve come this far with WordPress and hope you find time in between work to continue the momentum. I’m still recovering from the trip and from additional shoots.

  4. Hi Andrew,

    I don’t think anyone needs to upgrade to the new BG-E2N grip if you already have the BG-E2 grip. You will only need to buy the new grip if you don’t have the old grip already, or if you are keeping your 20D or 30D with the old grip attached and want a new grip to go with the 40D.

  5. The rubber seal is the only thing new? I could just make my own rubber seal around an old BG-E2’s battery compartment. No need to get an E2N, then… No AF On button…

  6. so guys.. help me out here… you decide for me because its gona be my first time to be threading the 40D series because i came from rebel XT… bg-e2 or the bg-e2n?

  7. thanks roland… fantastic review!!! too bad i cant get my hands on a 40d now because i hafta wait till oct or nov for the cam. great going canon philippines. sheessshh

  8. How much is the BG-E2N going for in Hong Kong? I might have a friend going there soon… Also, do you know if the WFT-E3 is available yet in Hong Kong? It’s pretty pricey here in the States…

  9. Hi Ray,

    I bought the BG-E2N for HK$1,200 cash price, add 2 to 3% for credit card payment. The last time I asked about the price of WFT-E3, it was HK$5,400. I am not sure whether they have it in Hong Kong yet though.

  10. Strange thing is the BG-E2N is £1 cheaper than the BG-E2 from Bristol Cameras (UK).

    Best price I’ve found so far is £99 from 7DayShop but they don’t have any in stock…

    After moving from a 350D (with grip) the 40D seems huge, although I’m getting more used to it every day, so I’m still undecided about actually getting the grip. I’m probably with Bryan at the moment – spare battery in the bag / pocket.

    I’d be interested in the WFT-E3 but only if the UK price (£599) dropped by about 75%! You can buy a reasonable laptop for the same price so I can’t accept Canon’s pricing model.

  11. I’ve searched a lot on the web lately, to find what the difference between BG-E2 and BBG-E2N, and finally I foud it here. But to my biggest surprise, it would seem to me that BG-E2 would be a better buy. Primarely because I can not see the actual value of the poorly designed weather sealing. The type of material being used as sealing, usually smoulders fairly quickly, in addition to not actually being water resistant (being this spungelike material).

    I would quite prefer the AF-ON buttom when using the camera vertically, wich I would be getting with the BG-E2. Correct if I am wrong, please. If I am correct, I would think it a strange move by Canon.

  12. Thanks for pointing this out! I know a place that’s clearing out the E2’s in a little kit with an extra battery and a small carrycase to boot! I think I’ll go that way…

  13. Does the BG-E2 have the AF On button? I’m hearing a lot about that being a downfall of the new one, but all the photos of the old ones I see in photos do not have it either.

    Does it? And, what is the main advantage to you having the AF on button?


  14. In Canada, you can buy the BG-E2 kit (grip, battery, and bag) on sale at Henry’s for the same price as the BG-E2N grip alone (having factored in the $20 rebate). This is a good deal seeing as the battery is worth about $130.

  15. Is it true that the price of the BG-E2n grip is a tad lower than the old one. thinking buying one since I’m so used to shooting with a battery grip

  16. All,
    What does the AF-On button actually do? Sorry for my ignorance, as it sound like switching between AF and MF, or is it AF-lock?
    With regards to price, I have checked Amazon in the UK;
    They have the BG-E2 for £133 and the ‘N’ for £103, which seems strange. It must be considered that the ‘N’ is not very good?!?

  17. Hi J Walsh,

    I have actually described the function of the AF-ON button in my main review articel of the 40D, but I’ll repeat it here.

    The AF-ON button has many functions.

    * in the creative zones (P, Tv, Av, M and A-DEP modes), pressing the AF-ON button will have the same effect as pressing the shutter button halfway

    * holding down the AF-ON button in Live View mode will lift the mirror and activate autofocus

    The AF-ON button can perform different function depending on custom setting:-

    a) during autofocusing, you can press the AF-ON button to stop autofocusing

    b) in AI Servo mode, you can press AF-ON button to repeated start and stop AI Servo AF operation

    c) press AF-ON button to meter and autofocus, and press the shutter button halfway to attain AE lock

    d) you can disable the function of the AF-ON button

  18. Thanks very much for reiterating for me Roland. I didn’t read the 40D article for fear that I’d want to upgrade my 30D.
    It sounds like the original model is the one for me then.
    Why on earth did they remove the AF-On function – it sounds practically invaluable?
    It’s a shame I have to pay £30 more for the old model, which has more functionalty. If anyone can (confuse), Canon can!

  19. Hi J Walsh,

    The old grip does NOT have more functionality. Both the old and new grip does not have the AF-ON button. They are practically the same externally. The main difference between the old and the new grip is that, the new grip has environmental seals, which the old grip does not have.

  20. BG-E2N in Singapore is S$230 nett at a Photo shop in Singapore which is located in the Sim Lim Square digital mall.

    That translates to around HK$1150 Nett

  21. I look at an item like the battery grip and I just ask “why”?

    I have had the 40d on FULL DAY LONG shoots filling two 8 gig cards and have YET to ever have to change a battery during a day’s shooting. I have two spare batteries, and always keep them charged just in case, but I have NEVER had to use one.

    I followed the Stanley Cup from 7:30 am until 11:30pm one day to three locations, nearly 1000 shots taken and never had to change a battery. Granted, I do use an external 580 flash, so that is not a factor, but heck, throw an extra battery in your bag or your pocket and forget the bulk of something like this…

  22. Hi Larry,

    Although you may not think anyone can shoot more than 1,000 shots within a short interval and extra battery power isn’t necessary. There are others who would benefit from the extra battery life. Personally, I can easily shoot over 2000 shots during a 2-3 hours concert, and it’s convenient not to have to change battery during the middle of a shoot.

    However, extra battery life is only one reason for using a grip. It is also called a “portrait grip”. There is an extra set of shutter release button, dial and control buttons at the side of the camera, designed to be used for portrait orientation shots, so you would not need to twist your hand over the camera to shoot in portrait orientation. If you only shoot 1 or 2 shots occasionally in portrait orientation, then you may not feel the need, but some people shoot in portrait orientation for long periods of time and it is much more comfortable to hold the camera with a portrait/batter grip.

    The 3rd reason for using a portrait grip is balance. With a small short lens, it would not make much difference, but with a long heavy lens like the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM, the camera would balance much better with a battery grip attached.

    Not everyone like using as light or as small a camera as possible. Some people actually like the extra weight and bulk with the battery grip attached. Some actually prefer the balance with the grip attached even with using a light and small lens.

    In the end it’s all a matter of preference. If you don’t find a battery grip useful, then you are lucky, you can save a bit of money and not buy the grip. But for many other people, the battery grip is an indispensable part of their camera.

  23. This may seem stupid but can I use just one battery with the grip in either bg-e2 or bg-e2n??
    I shoot with a EOS 33V with the bp-300 grip. There’s no battery concerns because I always have to use two cr123. I’m moving to a 40D and like the grip for the balance but I think I won’t need 2 batteries for a 6.000+ shooting day 🙂

  24. Hi guys,

    I’m so glad that I could find almost all of the information I needed with the grip here. I love the conversation too because elsewhere, in other forums, I can see a lot of swear and grim among the members. Thank you all for sharing the precious knowledge.
    I went to Cathay Photo, Peninsula, Singapore last week to buy the grip although at that time I didn’t know what to do with the grip. I just wanted to have it. However, the salesperson quoted me S$255 and also told me that there’s no promotion at that time and it could be much cheaper then. So I didn’t buy it. Now I feel like having it without the promotion. By the way, he didn’t tell me when the promotion will be.

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  26. When i use this grip my camera’s battery indicator always shows weak signal even battery is newly charged. When battery put inside the body it shows full. Already clean the contact point both camera and the grip but still to no avail. Anyone know what’s the problem? Thanks.

    • Oddly, this has some similarities to the Phottix BP-40D. A battery that is fully charged indicates half remaining with the grip. Note : only one battery is used.

      I tried another battery that the indicator showed low but not blinking. With the grip, it showed low and blinked.

      Though I have searched quite extensively with little success, I suspect, the indicator is showing what is the total capacity of the grip rather than the battery ie. if you have one fully charged battery, its only half the full capacity.

      Maybe someone should post this to Canon and see if they have an answer.

      • Hi DS,

        With a battery grip attached, I believe the 40D should be showing the total capacity of both batteries rather than a single one. Because the xxD generation are still using batteries that are not chipped (unlike on the 5D Mark II) and the camera body cannot track the power of each individual battery, so it has to show the total power remaining as a whole, otherwise, it would be pretty pointless if it shows 1 battery on the grip with full power as 100% full and 2 batteries have full power also as 100% full, then there would be no way to distinguish from whether you have 100% or 50% power left when you have 2 batteries inserted.

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  28. hi, i’m a newbee. i have BG-E2, but i don’t know the function ON/OFF button at my BG-E2, please tell what it’s for?

    • Hi yunanta,

      The ON/OFF switch on the BG-E2 is basically just the power ON/OFF switch for the grip. In the OFF position, the buttons on the grip do not work at all. You’ll have to turn the switch to ON position to make them work.

  29. The BG-E2N is the ugliest piece of accessory I’ve seen from Canon. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to care about gadget aesthetics, esp. when it comes to photography. But I think the 40D is a beautiful camera and I’d hate to ‘uglify’ it with the BG-E2N. I’m the kind of consumer who appreciates the beauty of the iPhone, MacBook Pro, Aston Martin DBS, and Omega Seamaster watch.

    So I can’t bring myself to buy the grip for my 40D. Fortunately, I don’t need to. I have small hands, so my 40D provides plenty of grip to hold on to. In fact, it’s the most comfortable camera to hold on the planet!

    And the heaviest lens I have is the 70-300mm, weighing in at 1.4 lbs, so I don’t need a counter-weight, either.

    As for battery life, Cripes, I’ll just carry a spare battery around with me. No big deal.

    I appreciate keeping the camera relatively light without adding a battery grip. With regards to shooting portrait mode, I’m perfectly comfortable doing so without the vertical grip. I shoot much more often in landscape, anyway.

    It would be nice to *look* more professional by adding a vertical grip. But that’s just my ego talking.

    The $200 I save by NOT buying the BG-E2N can go towards a Cameron (Marumi) DRF14 ring flash. (I’m into macro photography.)

    I really wish there was a nice-looking battery grip, even from a third-party, but there aren’t any. Very sad for Canon owners (of 20D, 30D, 40D, and 50D).

  30. By the way, I understand about adding heft to a camera. I chose the 40D because it felt very substantial in my hands, with the all-magnesium body. But adding the BG-E2N would overdo it. It is possible to add too much heft!

    When I was in the camera store, I played with the Nikon D700. This brute is quite heavy and my wrist was fairly quickly fatigued. So I understand that a camera can be too hefty.

    • Hi Richard,

      It is all a matter of preference really. Some people cannot use a DSLR without a battery, some cannot tolerate a DSLR with battery grip. So if you dn’t using a battery grip, then it’s fine for you. Others may feel totally different though.

      And it is the same concerning the weight of a camera. Some prefer lighter cameras, some actually like heavier cameras.

  31. hi

    am i wrong in thinking the earlier version was made of metal and the new one of plastic?

    which model had a grip that was metal as i remember having a metal one for my 20d previously, however i could be wrong and it might have been a 10d one.

    if anyone knows please supply model info too.



  32. The BG-E2N will not work on my old 10D, is that correct? I must have the BG-ED3? I was hoping I could interchange because I don’t own either one and I have a friend that has a BG-E2N for her 40D. She is willing to let me use it if it will work.

  33. I have a question, I have a canon 30d and a friend is getting rid of his bg-e2 which he only used 4-5 times and never had a problem with it, such as the battery issue that you guys had mentioned earlier. Is this something that occurs over time or its basically a toss up if it’ll happen?thanks

  34. I have just received my bg-e2.I am a new guy in photography,what i need to know does it make a difference to leave the 2 batteries in the holder after use on my 30d.will removing the batteries save any life on them.

    • Hi Ray,

      I don’t think it makes much difference leaving the batteries in the camera or taking them out as far as battery life is concerned. However, if you are not going to use the camera for a long time, perhaps it’s best to take the batteries out first.

  35. Hi, just wondering. Why is it that the BG-E2 wont fit 50D? I have currently 30D and considering buying grip but cant justify double price for E2N. I want to upgrade to next model coming out (60D?) and if that fits E2N why not E2, just doesnt make sense.


    • Hi Luke,

      Although Canon only said the 50D will fit the BG-E2N, I think the BG-E2 should fit too, though I have not tried it. As I have documented in the article above, the 2 grips are basically identical other than the environmental seal. I think canon did not mention compatibility with the BG-E2 simply because it is not in production anymore. The BG-E2N is the model that replaced it.

  36. I went down to my local store, in Southampton, to ask about compatibility between the 40d and BG-e2/e2n and they told me that, being a recognized canon store, they can’t sell me the bg e2 if I am going to use it on a 40d! Apparently some of the 40d’s have a bug (known by canon) which leads to the battery level indication problems cited above when used with a bg e2!(not all of them however) And apparently, along with the weather protection, the inside has been slightly modified as well to cope with the 40d and onwards… So I am still hesitating, should I take the risk of getting a second hand e2 and maybe having to sell it on the following day, or should I go for an e2n straight away?? I don’t know if that bug could be repaired in a firmware update, but it would save us some money!

    • JVDK,

      Sorry about the late reply. I am afraid I have not heard of any firmware difference between the 2 grips. I really have no idea whether what you were told was true or not. Sorry I cannot be of further help.

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